The Federal Role in Regional Economic Development

Andrew Reamer
Andrew Reamer Former Brookings Expert

January 23, 2007

Madam Chair, Chairman Oberstar, Congressman Graves, and distinguished Members of this Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here. This subcommittee has the responsibility to determine how the federal government can best stimulate economically competitive regions, and I appreciate your invitation to offer my thoughts on this topic.

At The Brookings Institution, I have two areas of focus:

the federal role in stimulating economically competitive metropolitan areas, and
the federal role in producing the socioeconomic data—for example, population, employment, transportation—needed by governments and businesses to make intelligent investment decisions.

To give you some context for my remarks: In the 1980s, I co-founded Mt. Auburn Associates, a regional economic development consulting firm in Boston; in the 1990s, I created a solo consulting practice; two years ago, I become a fellow in the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program. I received a doctorate in economic development and public policy from MIT.

I have consulted with 60 states, regions, counties and cities, helping them understand how their economies work and advising them on how they could work better. Congressman Arcuri, I was part of a team working with Oneida County on a plan to reuse Griffiss Air Force Base and increase technology transfer from Rome Laboratory. Congressman Cohen, I helped develop an economic strategy for the Memphis area and a growth plan for Collierville.

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